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“Bring in some craft beers!”
Review of Verbena Bar and Bistro - CLOSED

Verbena Bar and Bistro
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: New Zealand
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed November 9, 2012

We live in the neighbourhood and this place is really convenient. Decent food and good service. Here's my biggest complaint: the beer list stinks. Craft beers have become really popular throughout the US and New Zealand and most places have kept up with this. So when we go to a place like Verbena which is higher end than the other local spots, it would be nice to see some craft beers on the menu instead of tired old Steinlager and Stella. We've even mentioned this to owner, who gave us a disinterested shrug!

As a result, we drive PAST Verbena and go the extra 15 minutes to Stafford Road in Northcote Point which has kept up with the times and boasts a fabulous wine and beer list. Our friends who live 5 minutes from Verbena do the same!!

Verbena is missing out on a huge opportunity to bring in more local punters like us who enjoy a few beers on a Friday night after a long week. They've got nice food, nice wines... why not a few nice beers that help support local breweries like Epic and Galbraith's?

Let me put it this way: if they did this, we'd be in there every weekend! But they don't, so Jeremy at Stafford Road gets our money. It's a shame.

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Thank BlueKitsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stephen T, Owner at Verbena Bar and Bistro, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2012

One of the disadvantages of having a supply contract with a major brewers is that only their beer can be sold. When I began my contract craft beers were not such an important trend, besides I was able to get the full 'Macs' range which at that time was considered craft.
With the news that Lion have bought Emersons craft brewers we should soon have a well respected craft brewery on board. Am looking forward to matching some foods to the Emersons great beers.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (23)
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12 - 16 of 23 reviews

Reviewed June 7, 2012

went to Verbena restaurant for brunch on Sunday and found space on the small back deck. Was not expecting too much as it looks like a very small cafe from the outside but it actually has two levels inside. The coffee was fresh and tasty and delivered promptly. The all day breakfast and eggs benedict took a little while to arrive as they were busy but were worth the wait. Will definitely return, so nice to find such a good place locally.

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Thank Webmagic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2012

Our first visit was a vinemakers dinner and it was fabulous - every course was a stunner with quality, freshness and quantity - enough mouthfuls to get the flavour. Friendly staff and the owner overseeing all. Looking forward to our next visit.

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Thank Nicola W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2012

This is a rarity in New Zealand suburbia - a delightful little restaurant & bar that is more like a warm corner dairy than a commercial centre brasserie.

It is absolutely one of the best discoveries to be made on the city - and it is a bit of a secret because it is visually recessive from the outside, and doesn't shout its presence with bright signage within the tiny set of Verrans Corner shops opposite the Birkenhead Transport depot.

Verbena has a warm, domestic, relaxed sense of comfort, coupled with a menu that ranges from memorable top-flight to casual pizza-&-beer nights. The bar area is more home lounge, with a welcoming open fire in winter, and low-key live music on some nights, but even on those occasions it is a venue where conversation doesn't mean shouting - a huge attribute in itself. Onstreet parking is easy. The service is unfailingly great, informed, and equally family-like.

Those of us who live nearby feel very lucky to have walking access to such a place, but even if you are not that close, forget 'Mainstreet' and try it ...

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Thank George F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2012

My partner and I took my parents here for dinner and we were wowed from the experience. Their service was friendly and attentive with the owner welcoming us and clearly managing both the bar and the restaurant capably and confidently.

The wine list was both reasonably priced and extenstive for a place so unknown. They also offered plenty of vino's in carafes which I just love.

Our starters were plated beautifully and were fresh and simple, cooked to perfection and the right size. Our mains were more of the same superb culinary examples as the starters. I reccomend having the dessert platter for two to get a taster of what they have on offer.

This place also opens in the early afternoon and there is a garden out the back, hard to find in Auckland!, which you can enjoy your drink in if the sun is still shining.

We will be back, we will be telling all our friends and I fully expect this restaurant will be an award winning one very soon.

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Thank Kiwi_Tripping
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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